WHY WE LOVE TED LAREDO’S ARTWORK
We love Laredo's work for the tactile, sensuous surfaces, the emotive response to the saturated colors, the thoughtful, academic approach to composition, the craftsmanship of his construction and the delightful, ephemeral interaction between his use of color and ambient light. Like most great paintings, his work provides an immediate impact and the opportunity for continuous discovery.
Ted has always been fascinated by the fundamentals of light, color and composition. His seemingly "easy" paintings are the result of dedicated research and exploration of these basic qualities in other artists' masterworks. Examination of his Naphthol Red Portal (seen above) proves a thorough investigation into the materiality of painting and his purposeful construction (some of his works are wood, some cast acrylic, others steel; this one is acrylic paint on canvas and it sits 5/8in away from the wall.)
Ted Laredo is acutely aware that most viewers dismiss his work as simple, and that's okay - in this age of overwhelming visual noise, most of us barely look at any artwork long enough to gain more than a cursory impression. Laredo makes that part easy for us by providing the information to walk away with, "It's the red (or the white or the yellow or the blue) painting."
Ted Laredo's works are measured, carefully considered paintings; they work in context of environment and they reveal themselves over time. Laredo recognizes that his art doesn’t exist in a vacuum - it hangs (or will hang) on walls which might be white or gray or green or some other color. Presumably those walls have dimension and context of their own; Laredo's paintings sit in relation to the wall, extending beyond it's physical construction into a defined space. His paintings are covered in glass micro beads that nod to the idea that consumers place value on things that sparkle with the allure of preciousness.
Laredo is concerned with the way his art reveals itself over time. He is interested in the time it takes to discover each considered decision like the folds of the canvas or the rivets into the steel or the brushstrokes of a monochrome painting obscured under a layer of glass beads. He is also interested in the reward of living with artwork and experiencing it over time. Focusing on the physical properties, it is interesting the way the facets of glass catch the changes in ambient light throughout the course of the day. Looking at the work from different angles, the glass will glisten and bounce light back creating both a symbolic and physical relationship with the person who sees it. The works read differently as lights shift and in the case of the red example, it shimmers with a luminescent halo at night - remember that thoughtful construction floating off the surface of the wall? The back of the painting is coated with phosphorescence so that it glows - creating it own afterimage in the dark.
We fell in love with Laredo’s work, drawn in by the deliberate colors and the sexy surfaces. Twelve years later it continues to be fresh with discovery.